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    Meet Rebecca Dean, whose career in sports events has gone from strength to strength since landing her dream role through Global Sports as a Recruitment Advisor for the Rugby World Cup England back in 2015.


    I always felt there was something missing and the motivation and feeling of satisfaction in my work was just not there. I have always been very passionate about sports and I knew I wanted to do something related to my passion, but I wasn't sure what opportunities were available that would suit my skills and experience.

    Can you tell us about yourself and your career journey so far?

    After graduating from The University of Birmingham, I started a job supporting people in receipt of benefits into long-term sustainable employment and was fortunate to be seconded to Australia. I met some incredible people with very interesting stories, it was a very rewarding experience knowing I was making a difference to their lives.

    When I returned to the UK I moved into recruitment for graduates and interns at accountancy, banks and law firms where I developed my high-volume recruitment and project management skills. While I had a lot responsibility and variety in my role, I always felt there was something missing and the motivation and feeling of satisfaction in my work was just not there. I have always been very passionate about sports and I knew I wanted to do something related to my passion but I wasn't sure what opportunities were available that would suit my skills and experience.

    What role did you successfully get through Global Sports?

    I had signed up to Global Sports and was receiving job alerts and one day in 2013 whilst at work I saw an alert for a Recruitment Advisor role at England Rugby 2015. After reviewing the role and responsibilities I realised my skillset was ideally suited and it only suggested event experience was beneficial - not essential. I immediately applied and was delighted to receive an invitation to an interview.

    I had my interview at Twickenham and I knew as soon as I heard what the role entailed I had to have it, I have never felt so excited leaving an interview. Following a second interview I was offered the role and was ecstatic, my interview had been with the person who was due to be my Manager and I am so grateful and indebted to him for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity which changed my career trajectory.

    How long were you with England Rugby?

    I was with England Rugby 2015 for 2 years where I was responsible for growing the Organising Committee, working as a Recruitment Advisor was the perfect role for my first event as I got to learn about all the roles and different Functional Areas across the Organisation providing me with excellent insight and breadth of knowledge and conducting interviews alongside Heads of FAs was an invaluable learning experience. I was able to bring my previous recruitment experience; developing selection materials and designing and running high-volume assessment centres.

    Once the hiring was complete I moved into my operational role as a Venue Workforce Manager, responsible for venue-specific training, the provision of services and welfare of staff and volunteers on venue. The excitement of being on venue and the intensity and high pressure of match days was incredible and I knew I had to continue working in events,  that I had finally found my area of expertise and a job that suited my skills and experience and gave me true job satisfaction. The whole organisation working as a team towards the same goal with an immovable deadline was the atmosphere I realised I needed to work in and I knew working in that kind of atmosphere with like-minded colleagues would motivate me every day and look forward to going into work!

    rdean2How is your career in sports progressing?

    Following Rugby World Cup I have continued to work at major sporting events and most recently I worked on FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 taking on the biggest challenge of my event career so far. I was responsible for managing the recruitment operation for the 20,000 volunteers required for the Tournament. I led a team of paid staff and 500 volunteer interviewers and together we conducted 60,000 interviews in 3 months, at our peak, we were interviewing up to 1000 potential volunteers face-to-face on a daily basis! Once the recruitment was complete I went on to become Venue Workforce Manager at Al Thumama Stadium, host to 8 exciting World Cup matches.

    What do you enjoy most about your current role?

    I love to be involved in both the planning phases and operational phases of events so I can utilise my full skillset but for me the operational phases are the most fun and memorable and where I feel I really excel. I was lucky to have many operational phases during the recruitment operation and tournament phases for both FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and FIFA World Cup in Qatar. I was able to see all my hard work during the planning phase come together and as a team, we started to achieve success and see record-breaking results. Operational phases can involve very long unsociable hours, they are intense with lots of pressure but the highs and the rewards far outweigh any negatives!

    Working in workforce with volunteers is one of the most enjoyable parts of the role and the volunteers in Qatar made a big impact on me, I was amazed by their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work and loved getting to know them and their stories. Their positive attitude and dedication brought our Volunteer Recruitment Centre to life, creating an unforgettable experience for all that attended and making our success possible. I am a very competitive person and for me working in this industry being able to see results and all working towards a common goal is what motivates me every day.

    What do you enjoy most about your current company?

    Sadly after the successful delivery of a Championships or Tournament, all events come to an end and it is time to move on to the next project, for me this will be Paris 2024, my first Olympics, an event I have always wanted to be part of!

    Working in events you get to travel and work all over the world, working in very diverse teams. I find it amazing knowing that during the event all eyes of the world are on you and that your friends and family are proud to see what you have been part of and achieved!

    rdean3-1What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career so far?

    In events, it is important to build strong relationships during the planning phases across all Functional Areas, so when it comes to event time and everyone is so busy and under pressure, you already have trust and understanding and know who you can rely on to support you in your operation. The best way to learn more and gain experience is to put your hand up for everything, support your own team and offer support to those from other teams. You will all benefit and that help will be reciprocated at a time when you most need support.

    What advice would you give those looking to build their career in the sports industry?

    Don’t think that you need previous sports/events experience, there is such a wide variety of roles and teams to be a part of that there is a role for everyone’s skills and experience - whether it is on the corporate or operational side. To be successful you need to be flexible, adaptable and open to constant changes to budget, venues, and operations. Relationship building is very important as teamwork is essential with everyone in the organisation working on the same project and towards the same goal.

    I think being competitive helps in order to help you keep motivated, remain resilient in the face of challenges and continue to aim for success. If you know anyone in the sports/events industry, use those contacts and also look out for School Leaver, Internships and Graduate opportunities that most events will offer.

    How do you find using Global Sports?

    As I have mentioned above, a job alert from Global Sports helped to get me my dream role in events and it is always my go-to when looking for my next role, my World Cup role was also advertised on Global Sports. I find it helpful to see what events and organisations are hiring and when you see one role advertised you know to keep looking back to see if a role suitable for you has appeared. I would also recommend the job alerts as you may miss something on your search or you may not be looking every day and the ideal role may land in your inbox.

    Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.


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